Love blooms every week behind the metal bars that guard some of India’s most notorious criminals.
In scenes seemingly out of a Bollywood movie, arms dealer Abhishek Verma – prime accused in the Navy war room leak case – and his Romanian wife Anca Maria Neacsu have been making the most of their weekly meetings, highly-placed sources at the Tihar Jail have told HT. The romantic rendezvous have, however, caused much heartburn among Neacsu’s fellow inmates.
Every weekend, Neacsu puts on a ‘special dress’ and ‘scant, though her best, jewellery’ to receive her husband for a meal in a small chamber at the facility’s central jail number six. Sources described the meetings consisted of romantic dinners which ‘not many are fortunate enough to indulge in’ though jail officials described the encounters as a ‘non-special, routine affair’.
Both Verma and Neacsu are behind bars since June 2012 for alleged money laundering after being arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Verma is lodged in jail number four.
“As per the jail manual, every inmate is allowed a visit from a select few once a week,” said a senior Tihar Jail official. “Since Neascu doesn’t have much family in the country, she settles on meeting her husband instead of her lawyer on most days,” the officer added.
The dinners, however, have angered Neacsu’s fellow inmates who allege that jail authorities ‘allow romantic dinners to the Vermas but frown at other inmates for ‘even wearing make-up’
nmates also said they are ‘disallowed from meeting family members as punishment for the smallest of misdemeanors’.
”What is unfair is unfair,” one inmate, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
“The jail manual stipulates that every inmate is equal; but she (Neacsu) never loses out on a visit, is allowed to wear what she wants, and gets extra time with her husband. We don’t,” the inmate added.
“We aren’t allowed those perks though we have been booked for less serious crimes,” said another inmate.
The jail authorities, however, rubbish these claims. “Not just Abhishek Verma and his wife, every inmate is allowed a visit which lasts half an hour in strict adherence to jail rules and without any special treatment,” said Sunil Gupta, law officer and spokesperson, Tihar Jail.